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EASP – European Association of Social Psychology

Postdoctoral Research Position

02.07.2021, by Tina Keil

University of Trier, Germany
Application deadline: July 31st, 2021

Logo: University of Trier
Logo: University of Trier

The Social and Cognitive Psychology Groups at Trier University invite applicants for a project entitled „Investigating the basic principles of affective learning II. The acquisition of valent motor reactions“, funded by German Research Foundation (DFG).

The successful candidate will work closely together with the Principal Investigators, Prof. Dr. Eva Walther and Prof. Dr. Christian Frings, and will join a vibrant research environment at the Social and Cognitive Psychology Groups.

The position is full-time from 1 October 2021 until 30 September 2024, initially limited to 3 years with the option of a temporary prolongation. 75 % of a regular full-time employment will be research in the a.m. working groups in addition with a lectureship in psychology covering 25 % of a regular full-time employment.

The Trier project investigates basic principles of affective learning from an action control perspective. It is assumed and will empirically tested that actions do not acquire evaluative connotations solely through operant reinforcement, but also through the overlapping encoding of evaluative stimulus and response patterns. Consequently, motor responses could acquire valence themselves (i.e., a positive or negative meaning), and transfer this valence to other actions or stimuli through conditioning. This perspective of the acquisition of valent motorical actions does not only provide new theoretical insights into the interplay of attitudes and behavior, but has also important implications, for example, for the formation of habits and the questions of how action is learned and stabilized in the first place (e.g. Prinz, 1998). Moreover, this perspective allows new theorizing in the field of evaluative learning.

Your tasks

  • Conceptualizing, planning, conducting, analyzing experimental lab studies in coordination with the PIs
  • Supervising student assistants
  • Working with, and advancing, empirically founded theory in the area of social and cognitive psychology
  • Coordinating and administrating the project at the University of Trier

Your profile

  • Completed academic university degree (Master or equivalent) in the field of psychology or related cognitive sciences
  • Doctoral degree in psychology
  • Strong skills and experience in empirical research in social and cognitive psychology (e.g., conceptualizing and conducting lab studies, analyzing the data, publication in international academic journals)
  • High interest in basic and applied research in the areas of social and cognitive psychology
  • Ability to work in a group
  • Command of English language
  • Strong interest in an academic career

We offer

  • Joining a vibrant research group of junior and senior researchers that stresses cooperation and creativity
  • Expertise & collaboration opportunities on learning, affect and cognitive psychology
  • Working at one of the biggest psychological institutes in Germany with 15 different psychological departments along with Leibniz Institute for Psychology (ZPID) nearby which is the supra-regional scientific research support organization for psychology in German-speaking countries.
  • Flexible and family-friendly working hours
  • Support for the acquisition of follow-up funding
  • Employer-funded pension

Please, contact or for any questions. Disabled applicants with equal qualifications will be given priority consideration. Please, send your application (including a motivation letter, CV, publication list, academic certificates, and a representative paper) by 31 July 2021 to and